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July 29, 2014
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I am not a gardener but every spring when I lived in suburbia
I purchased flats of pansies, marigolds and impatiens.
Impatiens thrived through the entire season,
had little luck with pansies, but I loved
how they twisted and turned toward the sun.
I was good about picking off dead blooms,
enjoyed the gold and orange marigolds long into fall.

Two Parts Dirt

A cigarette hangs from her lips; the burnt ash refuses to drop and she squints to protect her pale cornflower blue eyes from the smoke that rises behind her large frame plastic glasses. Wearing polyester pants with a button-up floral print shirt in a coordinating color, her shoulders slightly stooped, she moves with purpose and crosses the narrow kitchen. Feet encased in practical slip-on loafers complete the ensemble and are a required part of being dressed for the day.  Read more

feast for pachamama

these snow-sumptuous and barren vegetable beds
remind me of the coming heat, the gritty sun beat
the fruit flower, green leaves, the canning steam
and i wonder how much we will need by summer’s end
of soil, seeds, sprouts, sweat

as spring gets on, i know it’s not just heat
but light and dark that conduct the spark of leaves
the sustained note of the open bud that murmurs the arrival
of long-light, the firefly-lit, slip of night  Read more

Dirt

“Politics is an organized, publically sanctioned amplification of the infantile itch to always have one’s own way.”
— Tom Robbins, “What Is Art and If We Know What Art Is, What Is Politics?”

DNA tends to hold sway,
in spite of goodness, Thomas J.
Alex Hamilton redressed his vows
through dallies with a lady’s wows.
A miracle dwelt in Grover C.
admitting extra paternity.  Read more

Getting Into August

July 27th
the Universe’s longest day
I feel it

will this day never end I asked myself
Uranus
I reply  Read more

Humboldt County, 1972

Excerpted from: “717 Hemlock Street: The Empiricist Conversation from Locke to Gödel,” a novel by Tommy Saxophone

John and I sat on the porch on attached movie theater seats John had rescued from an old East Bay movie theater just prior to its demolition. From tall glasses we drank hot coffee sweetened with condensed milk. John pointed west, towards a hilltop in the distance.  Read more

Beneath the Soil

Pick up a newspaper, turn on the t.v.,
look at the mirror of our lives:
another newborn thrown in a garbage can,
another bomb blown by the terrorist hand,
listen to the radio, listen to the streets
of humanity trapped in rush hour, choking
on the fumes of violence, choking on fear,
gagging on racial tensions, gagging on hate,
reeling from war to war, staggering ever closer
to our own destruction,
there seems to be no way out, and yet...  Read more

Dirt 9x

I’m talking about Dirt.
Clean Dirt.
Dirt you smell,
Loving the aroma.
Dirt you get under your fingernails,
And don’t mind going to bed with.
I’m talking about farm Dirt.
Nature’s Dirt.
Unadulterated, unprocessed, Unfiltered Dirt.
Dirt that is a home for
Worms, insects, roots and vegetables.
Dirt that makes me,
Smile.

Early Morning

I walk early in the morning
at first light, the sun in promise.
I move into the world a blank slate,
listen to the sounds
aware of the smells
open to the surprises
of the awakening earth
joining the scene of a leftover dream.  Read more

Moondust in the Loam

I am back, in a field
with freshly stirred dirt
back in the dirt that sustains me
Between rocks and earth,
my toes feel the moon inside
When in the end we fall
and are scattered deep enough,
we know we are a part of it.

Black Gold

The earth had settled after brewing for ages,
simmering down to a rich, black soil ready to draw
the very best from seed placed within its shallow furrows.
They stretched like rows on a chenille bedspread toward the horizon.  Read more

Mud is the New Little Black Dress

When I established full-time residency in this rustic rural area nearly five years ago, I didn’t take into account all four seasons. My lifelong acquaintance with Sullivan County never existed outside the summer familial retreat where we focused on boats, swimming, asiatic milfoil, waterskiing, kayaking and sunbathing. In other words, I was a typical cidiot visiting two months a year.

Needless to say, my first winter here was brutal. I lamented then, and come to think of it, the subsequent four winters, “Why didn’t anyone warn me?”  Read more

Summer

Vision.
Plan.
Decisions—flowers, tree,
how, when, where.  Read more

DIRT

As you dig
More and more
A variety of things
Is in there galore  Read more

Life

till, sow, weed, harvest
hands gloriously dirty
tending life

Grow (a haiku)

With the patience of
Water, seed, soil and my love ~
Is that a stem, Sun?

Grandpa’s Dirt

Grandpa knew dirt. The son of feudal farmers, he was born into it and was one with it. He knew its language and listened to what it asked for. He didn’t have words like carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, but he could tell if the soil was healthy from its scent or how it felt in his hands. As a little girl I watched Grandpa in his garden gently turning the dirt so that it would loosen and breathe and graciously accept the seeds he left in its care. Grandpa knew when it was thirsty and the best time to let it drink, always before the sun or after the sun.  Read more

Planting Season

The edge of winter is fading as
Patches of white melt to brown.
Throw open doors and windows to
Breathe in the changing air.
In grey mornings of early spring
Trudge the mud to work the fields.
Speed the plow till the earth
Is once more covered in vibrant green.

Soil

I fold the wealth of compost against the grain
of impoverished earth that is my flower bed
of spoiled seeds.  Read more

How to Keep a Secret

Turn up the music.
Turn down the lights.
Pick up a poppy seed with tweezers.
Pink or red — how can you tell?  Read more

The Dirt

Although I’m in recovery now, I was glad I was still drinking the Thanksgiving Day after my parent’s divorce. My brother and I decided to invite them to a celebration at his house. We only did this because they swore to us that they would remain friends. Then our father walked in with a date. We know him well enough to see that this was meant as an intentional act to hurt our mother.  Read more